Archive for the ‘art and math’ Category

Top Ten Tuesday

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Lots of items bookmarked and ready to show you. I so love all the things you can learn online – and all the places you can go!

First up, The Trouble with Bright Girls – being one, as well as teaching many of them, I can relate to this article. We need to be so careful of the messages we send.

“Researchers have uncovered the reason for this difference in how difficulty is interpreted, and it is simply this: more often than not, bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.”

Animals playing around – gotta watch!

The art of Jim Dingilian – filling a bottle with smoke and creating art!

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I’m always looking at business sites and mentoring opportunities for my own marketing. Came across Gary’s site and am thinking about buying the book as gifts for two friends looking to start small businesses. Check out Gary Bizzo – www.garybizzo.com.

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Also in marketing, a new site I found on line for printing – looks like quality work, and they’re in Canada, which is great when I move to Vermont! PrintingPeach at http://printingpeach.com.

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Absolutely LOVE this close-up of the creation of a Dior bag – amazing!

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This next poster is really cool, even if you don’t understand all of it! Science and art together!!

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10 Mathematical Equations that Changed the World – fascinating, again even if you don’t understand all the math.

You know I love math – The Magic of Fibonacci!

Once again, science, art and math – Dance on the Circle.

Till next time, enjoy the web!!

Why Algebra? (Hey, don’t click away from here….you’ll miss the rant….)

SO….I was awake early morning composing the start to this small rant. Yesterday a former retired colleague posted that he, the art teacher,  had subbed for a math teacher and within five minutes had convinced all the students that algebra was pointless in their lives. My quick Facebook comment was something like “oh, so NOT true….”

As I pondered this during the night, I thought of a bunch of things. That math teacher who has struggled all year trying to convince most of the students that algebra is worthwhile just had his job made so much harder. If a math teacher subbed in an art teacher’s classroom and said “why do art because it’ll never make you any money,” he/she has effectively destroyed a lot of budding artists.

Kids listen to what adults say. Now I’m coming at this rant from both angles. I teach college algebra one morning a week at The Art Institute of Tucson. Art and Math, so there. I really work at developing mathematical examples that are applicable to adult students, many of whom see no point to college algebra. So let’s take a look at the practical applications of algebra and all its rules in real life.

1. Order of operations (PEMDAS): if you’re an artist, you don’t pick out your matting before the painting is done. If you’re a chef, you know certain recipes HAVE to be done in a certain order or you ruin the dish. In real life you don’t put your underwear on last. Life is governed by some basics, and that’s what order of operations is all about. This principle teaches you to look for and use order. If you’re designing a video game or a movie, a story board is pretty darn important. Some things have to happen first before others.

2. Algebra teaches you to think: boy, do students hate this one, but it’s true. There is order in life, and algebra is an exercise that gets us to see what we have to do first, second, and so on. Solving equations is all about thinking through the problem and following a set of steps. Reading directions is much the same (even if you’re like my hubby and try to intuit what comes first….)  Laying out a sewing pattern for cutting is thoughtful. If you think of a menu for an event as an equation, you realize that you have to proceed through the preparation pretty thoughtfully.

3. Combining like terms: think about recipes and ordering. One recipe calls for three cups of flour, another for 2 cups of flour, and the third one just a couple of tablespoons. Do you order each separately? Hopefully not, because that would be tedious and time consuming and probably not cost effective. That’s what combining like terms is all about. 3A + 5B + 2C = 240 could be  your supply order and total amount for an event, an art project. Think about planning your art budget for the year for your classroom. You are ordering construction paper….you break it down to amount of packages of each color needed, and then you end up combining all the construction paper before going on to think about your paints. Then you total everything for the final amount. Combining like terms….

4. Exponential functions: recognizing these functions is pretty darn important if you are buying a car, a house, or medicine, just to name a few.

http://www.ehow.com/info_8145457_jobs-use-exponents.html

You better hope your pharmacist understands how long certain meds stay in your bloodstream before you have to take a new dose. Or…do you understand just how much you are paying in a car loan per month (which is linear) and how the time of your loan affects the value of your car (exponential). And if you want to win the big lottery……

5. Quadratic functions: aside from the fact that the makers of Angry Birds are making a small fortune using quadratic functions to create a game, anyone who has done anything in sports will recognize that a golf swing, a basketball shot, a baseball swing, a forward pass with recognize the inevitable parabola created.

http://www.mathamazement.com/Lessons/Pre-Calculus/02_Polynomial-and-Rational-Functions/quadratic-functions.html

You better hope your professional sports coach understands the equations that will improve your abilities.

So just a few examples……I could go on, but hopefully I’ve made a convert or two. And…just because…here’s a classic Abbot and Costello routine to show just how easily math can be misunderstood…..

May the Algebra Force be with you……….

GIVEAWAY!!!!

GiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveawayGiveaway! I’ve done 400 Blog posts – who knew I could keep going this long! I hated journaling as a kid, but with the advent of the computer, my writing took off. Now I love keeping track of and processing life.

When I started, the blog was solely a place to record my Photoshop work, as I was taking an online class and needed a place to dump my work. I started January 20, 2007, and I was so pleased with my ability to even set up a blog to begin with. And…if you’re interested, you can see the very first thing I actually created with Photoshop here. I periodically go back and look at the earlier posts to remind myself (when nothing seems to be working in Photoshop) that I really have come a LONG way.

These are some of my more favorite posts:

Quilting Like Crazy

Ansel Adams Exhibit

Left-Overs

Absolutely Fabulous Glorious Day

My Wonderful Seventh Grade Art Class

The Spring Art Show

Over the years I have met some wonderful folks through blogging and the accompanying social media, for which I am very grateful. Staying in touch with other creative souls is such joy. So to say thank you, hubby and I have put together an assortment of goodies, most related to marbling, but the occasional nod to the math geek in me.

Now to be eligible for the giveaway – you need to subscribe to our new newsletter. I am exploring a brand new format to our monthly newsletter (which has been “yearly” for the last three years), complete with pics and video about marbling. Subscribe and I promise you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, you can unsubscribe…). Just fill in your email on the box to the right of this entry. You have till July 13 to subscribe, and then I will use the Random Generator to choose a subscriber. Feel free to let others know about the giveaway.

Giveaway Goodies

Now let me explain what you could receive (and the pic is just a sample – not everything is photographed):

* A remnant package of 100% pima cotton, hand-marbled with assorted colors and patterns – 6 pieces.

* Three postcards for mixed media collage of digital marbling (TN).

* A few pieces of marbled papers, again for collage.

* A 10% Off coupon for anything on our website.

* A Polynomial Quilt Pattern, which would make a great present for the math teacher in your life, if not for you!

* 14 small pieces (about 2 x 5 inches) of some heavy-weight colored (not marbled) silk, again for collage or some crazy quilting or piecing – it’s all for your imagination!

* A set of digital marbled notecards (four cards, with envelopes)

So – it’s up to you now – the count-down to July 13 begins….sign up and spread the word!

Student Artwork – Slope Art

This first day back to school I wanted to ease the kids easily back into working with slope, so we viewed some videos about practical uses of slope – roof lines, ski slopes, and the like. Then I introduced them to zentangles and talked about doodling using ONLY straight lines. Most of the kids got right into drawing and got lost in the drawings pretty quickly. A few were like I used to be, worried about what the final product would look like. Overall some nice art was created. We will move from this into an actual art project with straight lines, with the equations for each of the lines used. But that’s for next week….

In the meantime, here’s their work (taken with my new digital camera that I can carry around in my purse):

So What Have I Learned?


Art has been an unexpected gift this year. Once I stopped moaning about having to do it, I began to see all the advantages.

I didn’t have to worry about teaching something that was being tested. This was a chance to what I love – develop an idea to fruition and encourage kids to explore and try new things.

It gave me the opportunity to learn more about art, and I discovered an amazing website that I can use over the summer to do more practical exercises – Window to Art.

My special ed kids really turned out some great art – I challenge you to be able to pick their art out of the show – the work fit in wonderfully, and the kids even sold some. Several of them have a great eye for color, and they are very free with what they do – not nearly the self-censorship the “regular” kids had,

I learned how to teach art – I still have a long way to go, but I can see the skills needed to teach this discipline. There is a fine line between “cookie-cutter” art and giving students a model to follow. Without realizing this, the perspective rooms wouldn’t have been nearly as great, as would any of the other assignments.

I learned just how critical math and art are together. Intellectually I understood the connection, but until I was knee-deep in trying to help kids with an assignment, I truly didn’t understand just how much math we were doing.

Part of me will really miss this next year. I will miss Amy who in January said she couldn’t even draw a straight line, and yesterday took home eight pieces of art for her mom. I will miss Di, whose talents are just beginning to emerge, and now I own one of his pieces – a wonderful dragon. I will miss Ivan, who didn’t want to be in art class at all, but whose leadership and art skills made him a valuable member of the class – I hope he gets to art school.

Now to just finish cleaning the art room……

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